Brabantse Pijl / 13 April / Leuven-Overijse
The 56th edition of the Brabantse Pijl started in the centre of Leuven, a city in Belgium. It is the final race of the Flemish Spring and the final ‘Flanders classic’. After this race, the Ardennes classics will take place. Michael Matthews (OGE) was one of the favorites for the win, after he became second in 2014 and 2015. Mathew Hayman (OGE) started also in this edition. The winner of Paris-Roubaix was riding around with a big smile in Leuven. Many spectators were shouting his name, tapping him on his shoulders or giving him an applause.
Preben Van Hecke (TSV) surprisingly became the national champion on the road in Belgium last year. He is currently riding for TopSport Vlaanderen – Baloise, a team with young Belgium talents. Although Van Hecke is already 33, he is the road captain of the team. Because of all the experience he has gained over the years, he is an example for his younger teammates.
Tom Dumoulin (TGA) started in the Brabantse Pijl to test his legs after a lot of training hours on his bike. He said before the race that he does not feel as good yet as he felt in last year’s Vuelta. He placed one attack during the Brabantse Pijl, but he could not follow the other riders on the last climb of the race. He became 22nd on 39 seconds and stated afterwards that he was happy with this result.
Petr Vakoc (EQS) won the Brabantse Pijl for the first time in his career. With an impressive jump on the last climb he got away from the peloton and crossed the finish line solo. Enrico Gasparotto (WGG) became second, after he placed several attacks during the race. Tony Gallopin (LTS) became third, just like in 2014.